Amandla Energy Works & Yoga Praxis
Amandla (uh-mand-la) is a Zulu and Xhosa word meaning power. Made especially popular by the African National Congress – under which Nelson Mandela campaigned for his presidency – during the anti apartheid movement, it served to instill a sense of strength and pride in South Africans affected by the horrid actions of the apartheid government and their allies.
In 2013, I chose this word to represent my business because of the tremendous impact my experiences in South Africa had on me. I traveled there in 2011, 2012 and again in 2015 with a program entitled the Pedagogy of Action that seeks to empower and encourage critical consciousness about the world in its’ participants. It is because of this program and the tremendous mentorship I was afforded that I have become curious about the ways we are and are not in control of our bodies and our lives, as well as what my role is and is not in helping others through this realm.
Certainly, my own life cannot be compared to any one’s who lived in apartheid South Africa, and I do not intend to misappropriate the word. Yet, the embodiment of the word is a powerful reminder that individuals and communities know their strengths and needs best. Resources of any type must be relevant to the individual or community and must ensure they will have agency in understanding, navigating and sustaining their own well being.
Yoga is a powerful mechanism for well being on many levels; my own practice has proved this to me time and time again. A yoga practice can help prevent physical illness, heal injury, and inspire the student to become their own teacher by instilling an elevated sense of physical awareness, guiding the mind to a state of equilibrium, and the spirit to its natural state of divinity.
I continue to seek knowledge about how to be most effective for those I have the honor to teach or work with in any capacity. On the surface, yoga, politics, academic theory, and activism can be quite disconnected. Therefore, this Yoga Praxis blog (also very much inspired by my experiences with the Pedagogy of Action), seeks to define the connection between the fields and explore how they can inform one another to empower individuals and communities more authentically and more effectively.
You can view my first post with more detail on yoga praxis here.
You can find more information about my class offerings here.